Nature’s ombré: blood oranges!

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Hello!

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Fun fact of the day – did you know that ricotta is actually *technically* not a cheese? It’s considered a dairy product since it’s made from a dairy by-product, whey. The name comes from the Latin recocta, or ‘twice cooked’. Fascinating! I love things like this.

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Anyway! I’ve got ricotta on the brain since I made this tart for the weekend.

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Blood oranges are very much in season right now, which is making me very happy – I LOVE their color (and flavor!) They pair so well with vanilla bean, it’s almost criminal.

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This tart is lightly sweet, as is everything I make – but packs a powerful orange punch. As a child, I really didn’t like the orange and chocolate combination – what was I thinking?! Thankfully, I aged into more accepting tastebuds, and am happily part of the citrus+chocolate tribe these days.

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Perfect for breakfast or dessert – as usual, we ate it both ways. Last weekend, we did a 9 mile hike from Taraval to Lands’ End & back; this weekend was a lighter 5.5 mile up to Twin Peaks and back. I don’t have any photos from today’s; it was hazy and I wasn’t feeling super motivated – so here is one from last weekend! It was a gorgeous day, and those 9 miles flew by.

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I’ll be back in mid-Feb with some new posts – C and I are going skiing this week (wooo!!!) and after that I’m taking a bit of time off for some r&r with my mama in a nice, tropical location (which hopefully will allow some of annoying & uncomfortable AF autoimmune symptoms to calm down. Ideally, I’ll just spend a ton of time in the water…)

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Happy weekend!

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Ricotta, Vanilla Bean and Blood Orange Tart on a Chocolate Polenta Crust

Lightly sweet but with plenty of orange flavor – for those who love the orange and chocolate combination! Perfect for dessert with a blob of ice cream, or for breakfast. Gluten free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Adapted from my other ricotta tart, here.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c unsweetened cacao powder
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cornmeal, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan or pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

For the filling:

1.5 c (15 oz) full fat ricotta
1/2 c full fat coconut milk
scant 1/4 c maple syrup
2 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of 2 blood oranges
Juice of 1 blood orange
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

This is as easy as it gets: toss ricotta into a large bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients: coconut milk, maple, egg yolks + egg, orange zest + juice, and vanilla paste, mixing well to prevent any lumps (heaven forbid).

Tart Assembly:
Pour the ricotta filling into the baked and cooled tart shell. Place in the oven at 350 and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until filling is set. Let cool completely before serving.
Top with sliced blood oranges and shredded coconut if desired! Keep refrigerated until serving. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, covered loosely in plastic wrap – arguably it’s almost better the next day!

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Meyer Lemons for 2019

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Hello hello! Happy 2019!

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Here is the first dessert of the year – and I’m quite happy with it! C and I loved it; but then, we’re also fiercely fond of anything that is citrusy and tart, so it was an easy sell. Plus, cornmeal! Let’s not forget our joint obsession with that.

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I love this tart for winter – meyer lemons are at their peak and are SO delicious, and the naturally bright yellow is just perfect for a bright midwinter dessert!

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I did actually bake for NYE, but it was the ricotta cornmeal cake I’d made recently & my favorite cookies, and I didn’t want any repeat posts! Both were very well received :)

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C and I had a lovely weekend – we did the tart for dessert first, with ice cream, and then again for… uh, if you eat your first meal of the day at 3 after a giant hike, is it still breakfast?! Anyway – great day out in Marin on the coastal trails by Rodeo beach, followed by tart and eggs and kale and all the usual things!

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I hope your weekend was all kinds of delightful, and that your year is off to a great start!

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Meyer Lemon Tart with a Cornmeal Almond Crust

Tart and bright – this is citrus at its best! It makes a difference to use meyer lemons – they are naturally sweeter than regular lemons. This is for those who like their desserts tart! Gluten free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Increase oven temp to 375.

Maple Lemon Curd*:

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 c lemon juice
zest of 4 lemons
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

*I made a batch and a half for a higher curd to crust ratio – feel free to do like I did. If you do, use 3 whole eggs & 4 yolks + another half of all other ingredients listed except maple (I like my curd to be tart!)

I used a double boiler for this lemon curd, which is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use.

Pour the curd into the crust and smooth the top. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, until the curd is barely set. Cool completely before slicing and serving – store in the fridge until serving and keep leftovers covered in the fridge.

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Let’s get crackin’

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Oh heavens, the holiday market shopping madness has already begun! I rather forgot this was the last weekend before Thanksgiving… Whole Foods is already at full-tilt insanity. It’s all good though, I don’t think I need to go back until after the holiday (ha. famous last words).

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It’s time for all things pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, and cranberry! I love the run of late autumn/holiday seasonal baking. I will say though, things can get a little one-note with all of the cinnamon-nutmeg-ginger combinations out there, which is why I especially love this pie. It’s light on the spice, but the cinnamon and ginger are present just enough to give it that seasonal vibe. Plus, it’s purple! Naturally! What’s not to love.

This thing obviously cracked like crazy (it cooled too fast in my apartment…might, *ahem* be a little cold in here?!) but I’m embracing its imperfections! It was delicious, and, like human beings, is unique and imperfect in its own way.

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Interestingly, it lightened up a lot in color after baking – see below photo! That was taken just over 24 hours after baking. The lighting is a bit different of course, but it was fun watching the color change.

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C and I both loved this one, a LOT. So much so that it might make another appearance this week for Thanksgiving! We’ll see. Regardless, we ate it for dessert and of course for breakfast, as we hibernated away from the bad air.

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I was traveling in SoCal for work last week and avoided some of it, but we’re still under a big blanket of smoke. The sunsets have been incredible, but that’s small comfort when outside is essentially verboten.

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My heart just breaks for those displaced by the terrible fires to the north of us and my beautiful state – we are on our 10th day of extremely unhealthy air quality and choking smoke in the Bay Area, and I can only imagine what it’s like closer to the fires. Sending all the good vibes to those who need them, though I know that isn’t nearly enough.

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Hold your loved ones, and bake them things – it is always the little kindnesses that are the most appreciated!

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Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecake Tart on a Chocolate Coconut Crust

Perfect for the holidays! Only lightly sweet – as always – and I love the purple sweet potatoes for their natural color. This comes together in a snap; you can always use regular sweet potato puree, or even pumpkin. This is kind of like a cheesecake, but uses yogurt instead of cream cheese for a lighter dessert. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves 6-8 realistically or two really hungry people for dessert & breakfast the next morning :) Filling is adapted from the Roasted Root, here!

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a tart pan with coconut oil (you can also use a pie pan; I like the tart pans with removable rings). Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

For the filling:

1 cup pureed purple sweet potato*
1 cup whole milk, plain yogurt (I use Straus European style – it’s pretty runny)
3 eggs
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tapioca flour*
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

* I boil them; you could also roast & mash them – either way is fine!

Add all of the ingredients for the filling to a food processor or blender and blend just until combined. Pour into the prepared crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 min until the center is set. Let cool completely, then refrigerate until serving.

Keeps well overnight in the fridge; probably best eaten within two days of baking, but I really doubt ours will even last that long :)

All things boats, crisps & hikes

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November already!?

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The extra hour this weekend was pretty swell though, I must say. Fave human and I got in a great 6 mile hike this morning before we ate – crisp makes a great post-hike addition to eggs!

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A few photos of life lately – we took a sunset sail this weekend too, which was awesome. The sky was just spectacular; there is no filter on these photos!

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As usual, I was my weird self… not sure what’s going on here but it just looks typical… was I summoning the water?!

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This is the reigning favorite crisp recipe around here – it keeps its structural integrity overnight even when sitting on super juicy fruit, which is a must. It’s chunky in the best way, like a good granola – and it’s perfect for breakfast! Fruit, nuts, oats, yogurt and butter – what more do you need?

Disregard awkward three fingered claw…

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I had frozen some late season peaches awhile back and wanted to use them before they sat too long in the freezer. It goes against my love of seasonal baking, but waste not, want not! Turns out pomegranate and peach go quite well together anyway, and the rosemary keeps it from feeling too overly summer-y of a dessert. It comes together in a snap too, so what’s not to love.

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I love love love adding rosemary to desserts. It brings just the right amount of savory to whatever dessert it is – and we know I like things on the very much less sweet side. C and I both loved this one – it was disappearing with mildly alarming rapidity, so we’ll see if it makes it though the end of the weekend, ha!

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Rosemary Walnut Crisp with Peaches, Blackberries & Pomegranate

An extremely easily adaptable crisp – use whatever fruit needs to be consumed! I had frozen some late season peaches and wanted to use them before they sat too long – they went excellently with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. This minimally sweet crisp is basically breakfast – fruit, nuts, oats and yogurt! Nearly all of its sweetness comes from the fruit, so make sure whatever you’re using is perfectly ripe. Yet another riff on the crisp I’ve made a million zillion times, here. Yield: 1 8×8, 2qt crisp, serves several.

3 c peaches, sliced*
2 c blackberries*
1/3 c pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 c coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss peaches, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple, water/port, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, salt, and rosemary. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Life is just peachy

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Hello friends!

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It’s been a few weeks; life has been busy with little time for baking, ugh! Thankfully, I caught a break and a chance to bake this…

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I love making tarts; they’re so effortlessly pretty! This one is almost a quiche – C and I were laughing about that over brunch (of eggs, kale and tart, obviously). I mean, it’s eggs and cheese in a crust, couldn’t we arguably call that a quiche?! Ha. Never mind that it’s studded with chunks of dark chocolate… no matter. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which are definitely part of a healthy breakfast.

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We both LOVED this one – lightly sweet, sturdy wedges that you can pick up and fly around like a Star Destroyer (what?? I’m a nerd) and which make a great breakfast.

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I believe the ricotta tart idea might be Tuscan in origin, which makes quite a bit of sense… no matter its provenance, it’s delicious! I fed some leftovers to the fam and they loved it too, so rave reviews all around.

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Not only that, but it comes together in no time! Which is doubly excellent when your life has gotten inexplicably crazy busy and the only time to bake is early in the morning. Added bonus of early morning baking is that my apartment is still cool, so running the oven doesn’t seem like quite such an offense.

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Happy August! Stone fruit season is in full swing, I highly recommend a market trip with a dessert in mind :)

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Ricotta Peach Tart on an Almond Coconut Crust

Gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free. Delicious all around! Very lightly sweet, perfect for breakfast (and also dessert, of course, but I really love it for breakfast & snacks!). Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies Original

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut,, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your tart pan or pie dish of choice with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the ricotta filling:

1 2/3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
Scant 1/4 cup maple
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
4 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
zest of 2 lemons
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 400°F

Make the filling:

Combine the ricotta with the eggs and maple. Add the zest and chocolate. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled tart shell. Top with sliced peaches. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until the ricotta filling is set; the top will be firm and golden brown.

Allow the tart to cool in the pan, then remove the ring and cool completely before refrigerating. Serve cool or at room temperature; store leftovers covered in the fridge.

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Let’s get crisp-y

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Happy Pride! It is hard to believe we are this far into June – I’m excited, since the stone fruit season is starting to really get going, and berries are lovely right now.

This week was eventful – I gave myself a black eye with a 900 page paperback (sci-fi of course) when I accidentally (duh) dropped it on my face… such a raging Friday night! I wasn’t even asleep, it just slipped out of my hand & got me. Rude! Sometimes I impress even myself. Photo evidence, just in case you needed proof:

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Anyway, enough of my raging & back to the fruit at hand: I also love rhubarb – though I typically think of it more as a late spring thing than summer. This will probably be the last rhubarb thing on here – it gets harder to find, and I really want to play with all the stone fruit anyway!

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The California summer is definitely in full swing: the hills have gone that golden shade that is so pretty against the dark oaks and blue sky. I could do without the hot weather but… at least I have access to a very cold pool! You will find me there more than frequently ;)

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Super fun weekend over here – time with fave human, dessert, urban hikes, etc etc – a few pictures below.

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This crisp is for those who LOVE rhubarb – it’s very rhubarb-forward! We both love the tart awesomeness of it, but I know it’s not everyone’s jam. Lavender was an interesting addition – I don’t use it all that frequently in baking (I find it can get a little… soapy, sometimes) but it adds a nice floral note here, which pairs especially nicely with ice cream…

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Of course, it’s us – this got eaten for dessert and then alongside the usual breakfast. No regrets! We were both starving anyway after having woken ourselves up by walking up some hills on a nice little shorty hike.

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I hope everyone out there in my corner of the internet is enjoying their weekends! Happy baking, if indeed you do some :)

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Lavender Almond Crisp

For those who LOVE rhubarb! This one is right in your face. Lightly sweet but seriously tart; lightly floral from the lavender and perfect with ice cream for a summer dessert or on it’s own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 crisp – I use an 8 by 8 dish that holds two quarts; you can also use a 9″ deep pie dish. Just make sure there is ample room for fruit! Serves: 2, or several… you decide!

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For the filling:

3 c rhubarb, chopped*
1 c raspberries*
1 c blackberries*
1 tsp lavender buds
1/4 c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped almonds
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c maple (or coconut) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss chopped rhubarb, raspberries and lavender into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Wait, is this actually a cookie recipe?

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Cookies!

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Though this blog is named after them, I find that I rarely post them on here…. which is silly, given that I make this particular recipe at least several times a month – they are perennial favorites of all parties.

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I realized after I made them for C &I this weekend (they happen to be both of our favorite cookies) that I had never actually posted this recipe on the blog so – I am fixing this now! They are so easy, just mix dry, stir in liquidy stuff, mix, bake, BOOM! Cookies. I think my record to make them is 17 minutes start to finish, including bake time (then again, I do sort of bake a lot so perhaps I am not the best metric ;)

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We ate these for dessert with ice cream (of course! can recommend mint and vanilla with high marks) and alongside a late brunch/lunch after a very sweaty hike. Of course, they are also excellent alongside a tall glass of milk (whole, if you please).

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There was some haze in the sky today but we still had a great hike/walk up to Bernal – here are some snaps:

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And a few from when I stopped at the beach on the way back from camp training to say hello to the ocean, always a worthwhile activity:

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So anyway – tomorrow is Monday, ew – do yourself a favor and take 15 minutes to whip up some cookies. The beginning half of your week will thank you!

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Oaty Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My favorite cookies – I make these more than anything else, at least a few times a month! C & I love them, fam loves them, etc etc. Whole grain, refined sugar free, dairy free & a gluten free option (just use 1/2 c brown rice flour instead of 1 c of whole wheat). Cakey, dense, chewy cookies that are great for hiking or snacks or whatever else. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield – somewhere 12-16.

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1 c almond flour
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 c brown rice flour for gf)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Flax egg or regular egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/4 c maple
Chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips, your call)

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix dry, toss in melted coconut oil, flax/egg, vanilla, maple, chopped chocolate; mix – these are not finicky cookies! Roll into balls and place on lined baking sheet, flattening them slightly. Bake for 10-12 on parchment at 350 if using whole wheat flour; bake for 12-16 if using brown rice flour.

Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. I like to store mine in the fridge – they get extra dense and chewy that way. They do best wrapped in foil on the counter or in a slightly less than airtight container on the counter (I prefer plastic over glass since glass can make them go soft).

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